Capitol Wrestling Center
Announcer: Alicia Taylor
Ring Announcers: Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, & Beth Phoenix
During the kickoff show, McKenzie Mitchell announced that Damian Priest went into William Regal's office. When he came back out, it was announced that Damian Priest vs. Johnny Gargano will be the first match on the show.
Rhea Ripley spoke with Triple H. She wants to challenge the winner of NXT Women's Champion Io Shirai vs. Candice LeRae.
We see video packages for all of the matches tonight.
"Culture Head" by Corey Taylor is the theme song for NXT Takeover 31.
Adam Cole says Kyle O'Reilly will walk out of Takeover as champion. Cole says he has O'Reilly's back and he's excited to be here tonight to see it.
We open the show with a video package highlighting the Capitol Wrestling Corporation. They've remodeled the WWE Performance Center and named it the Capitol Wrestling Center. Triple H's voice is heard over the loud speaker saying "We are NXT!!" WE HAVE LIMITED FANS!!
NXT North American Championship Match
Damian Priest (champ) vs. Johnny Gargano
Gargano immediately runs at Priest but puts on the brakes. Gargano uses his quickness early on to avoid Priest before going on the attack. Priest catches Gargano with a spinning heel kick allowing him to take over on offense. Chops by Priest. Priest beats on Gargano in the corner. Priest tries a sidewalk slam but Gargano escapes it and tries the Gargano Escape. Priest avoids and goes for the Reckoning but Gargano avoids it. Priest remains on the offensive. Priest walks the ropes Old School style but Gargano knocks him off the rope and delivers a kick to the knee. Gargano attempts to power bomb Priest off the apron to the outside but Priest blocks it so Gargano pulls him down hard to the floor. SUICIDE DIVE BY GARGANO!! Gargano sends Priest into the steps after that. Gargano rearranges the steps and breaks the ref's count. Gargano catches a right from Priest and they had back in the ring. Gargano ties Priest in the ropes and delivers some punches and kicks. Gargano flips from the second rope onto the back of Priest. 1...2...NO!! Gargano works a single leg crab. Priest escapes and kicks Gargano to the outside. Gargano gets back in and they trade shots. Priest is selling the injured leg. Strikes by Priest and Priest hits Gargano with an elevated flatliner!! Big back elbow by Priest to Gargano in the corner! Again! BROKEN ARROW BY PRIEST!! 1...2...NO!! Priest calls for the Razor's Edge by Gargano avoids it. Priest blocks a rolling kick from Gargano. Priest slams Gargano. PRIEST TRIES A RAZOR'S EDGE BUT GARGANO COUNTERS INTO A SUNSET ROLL UP!! 1...2...NO!! Gargano goes back to the knee of Priest. Gargano beats on Priest and they trade blows. Springboard forearm by Priest! Priest misses a kick and Gargano sends him shoulder first into the ring post. Gargano clotheslines Priest out of the ring. GARGANO TRIES A SUICIDE DIVE BUT PRIEST CATCHES HIM!! They battle on the outside now. PRIEST HITS THE RAZOR'S EDGE THROWING GARGANO ONTO THE APRON!! 1...2...NO!! Priest tries the running back elbow again but Gargano chop blocks him. Priest catches Gargano with a clothesline. Priest goes to pick up Gargano but Gargano delivers several kicks to the head. PRIEST TRIES THE RECKONING BUT GARGANO TRIES WITH A STANDING SLICE OF BREAD!! Elbow to the head of Priest!! 1...2...NO!! GARGANO GOES FOR A SUPER KICK BUT PRIEST COUNTERS! PRIEST TRIES A CHOKE SLAM BUT GARGANO ROLLS HIM UP FOR A CLOSE NEAR FALL!! GARGANO TRIES ONE FINAL BEAT DDT BUT PRIEST COUNTERS! CHOKE SLAM BY PRIEST!! 1...2...NO!! Priest goes to the corner but Gargano rolls out of the ring. Priest flips over the top rope but takes out security!! THE REF IS DISTRACTED AND GARGANO HITS A LOW BLOW!! In the ring, SUPER KICK BY GARGANO!! 1...2...NO!! GARGANO LOCKS IN THE GARGANO ESCAPE!! GARGANO PULLS HIM TO THE CENTER OF THE RING!! PRIEST MAKES IT TO THE ROPES! Gargano drops knees on the shoulder of Priest. Gargano rolls Priest to the apron. Gargano tries to knock Priest off the apron onto the steps but Priest catches him with a kick. GARGANO HITS TWO SUPER KICKS!! PRIEST BLOCKS THE ONE FINAL BEAT DDT!! PRIEST HITS THE RECKONING AND WINS IT!! I enjoyed the closing stretch of this but feel like it took us a while to get there. Part of me feels like they tried to hard though. I'd say it was really good but wouldn't call it great.
W: Damian Priest via pin @ 18:44 (***1/2)
We see Kyle O'Reilly arriving earlier today with the rest of the Undisputed Era. Then we see Finn Balor arrive.
Velveteen Dream vs. Kushida
Kushida attacks Dream before the bells rings! Dream grabs a chair and throws it in the ring. The ref takes the chair from Kushida and the bell rings to get us started. All Kushida in the early going as he mounts Dream and delivers punches and elbows. Kushida goes for the arm bar early. Kushida mocks Dream and Dream chases Kushida around the ring. Kushida catches him with a kick. Back in the ring, Kushida hits a hand spring kick and begins working on Dream's arm. Dream begs off. Kushida takes out Dream and works the arm. Dream finally catches Kushida with a kick before Kushida to the outside. Dream dives off the top to take out Kushida. Dream sends Kushida into the barricade and then breaks the count. Back in the ring, Dream remains in control. Dream beats on Kushida in the corner. DREAM HITS A BRONCO BUSTER!! DREAM TAUNTS AS THE CROWD BOOS!! Kushida fights back and both men trade blows. Kushida tries and hand spring elbow but DREAM LOCKS KUSHIDA IN A SLEEPER!! Kushida battles back and backs Dream into the corner. They trade strikes again. Kushida tackles Dream. Hip toss and a basement drop kick by Kushida. Super kick by Kushida! Kushida holds Dream's arms and delivers continuous stomps!! Dream back drops Kushida to the apron. KUSHIDA GRABS DREAM'S ARM AND PULLS HIM INTO THE RING POST!! AND AGAIN!! KUSHIDA GETS THE STEPS WITH DREAM'S ARM TRAPPED IN THEM!! Dream catches Kushida with a super kick! DREAM GOES TO THE TOP AND TRIES THE PURPLE RAIN MAKER BUT KUSHIDA CATCHES HIM IN AN ARM BAR!! Dream gets to the ropes. Dream pokes Kushida the eyes! POWER BOMB BY DREAM!! 1...2...KUSHIDA LOCKS IN AN ARM BAR!! Dream is able to punch his way out of it! DREAM HITS THE DREAM VALLEY DRIVER!! DREAM HITS THE PURPLE RAIN MAKER!! It appears Dream injured his arm though. 1...2...NO!! Dream took too long to make the cover. DREAM ARGUES WITH THE REF. Kushida grabs Dream but Dream levels him with a big clothesline. DREAM GOES TO THE TOP AGAIN BUT KUSHIDA RUNS UP TO MEET HIM!! KUSHIDA PULLS DREAM OFF THE TOP INTO THE HOVERBOARD LOCK!! Dream gets to the ropes but Kushida pulls him to the middle and keeps it locked on. DREAM GETS TO HIS FEET AND HITS ANOTHER DREAM VALLEY DRIVER BUT KUSHIDA ROLLS THROUGH AND KEEPS THE HOVERBOARD LOCK ON!! DREAM HAS NO CHOICE BUT TO TAP!! KUSHIDA ATTACKS DREAM AFTER THE MATCH!! The refs pull Kushida off for a moment but then he attacks Dream again!! This was my least favorite match of the night but that doesn't mean it was terrible. I would of liked to has seen a more decisive win for Kushida. At least the right man won.
W: Kushida via submission @ 13:01 (***)
NXT Halloween Havoc will be October 28th!!
Johnny Gargano tries to get Candice LeRae pumped up backstage. We see Io Shirai getting ready as well.
NXT Cruiserweight Championship Match
Isaiah "Swerve" Scott vs. Santos Escobar w/ Legado del Fantasma
Escobar sends Legado del Fantasma to the back. They lock up and after some good chain wrestling we have a stand off. More action and another stand off. Escobar gets an early near fall. Both men continue to counter each other and another stand off. Good stuff so far. Kicks by Swerve but he runs into a forearm. They fight to the outside where Swerve hits a moonsault off the apron!! SWERVE HITS A CORKSCREW MOONSAULT FROM THE SECOND ROPE!! Swerve throws Escobar in the ring and Escobar goes out the other side. SWERVE LEAPS OUT OF THE RING WITH ANOTHER MOONSAULT!! Back in the ring, near fall for Swerve. Escobar goes outside and Swerve follows. Swerve channels his inner Pete Dunne with some joint manipulation. In the ring, Swerve works on Escobar's arm. Swerve has dominated most of the match to this point. Suplex by Swerve and he attempts to follow up with an arm bar but Escobar gets to the ropes. Arm ringer across the ropes by Swerve to Escobar. Escobar kicks Swerve off to the barricade. SUICIDE DIVE BY ESCOBAR!! Back in the ring, Escobar takes control. Escobar delivers double knees in the corner before putting Swerve on the top turnbuckle. FRANKENSTEINER BY ESCOBAR!! 1...2...NO!! Escobar stomps Swerve in the ropes. Escobar talks trash and continues the beat down. Swerve fires up and backs Escobar into the corner and delivers a series of punches. Big clothesline by Swerve! Swerve builds momentum and Escobar rolls outside. Swerve goes to the apron and delivers two kicks to the face. ROLLING FLAT LINER BY SWERVE!! 1...2...NO!! Swerve goes to the top. Escobar goes to meet him. Swerve hits a drop kick. SWERVE PULLS ESCOBAR OFF THE TURNBUCKLE INTO A DDT!! 1...2...NO!! LEGADO DEL FANTASMA IS BACK!! Swerve is distracted by them! ESCOBAR HITS A SHOULDER BREAKER!! 1...2...NO!! They fight on the apron. Swerve racks Escobar on the top. SWERVE HITS A TOP ROPE RANA THAT SENDS ESCOBAR INTO LEGADO DEL FANTASMA!! ASHANTE THE ADONIS SHOWS UP TO TAKE OUT LEGADO DEL FANTASMA! SWERVE ROLLS INTO A SUPER KICK BY ESCOBAR!! PHANTOM DRIVER BY ESCOBAR!! 1...2...NO!! Escobar stomps Swerve!! ESCOBAR HITS THE THREE AMIGOS!! ESCOBAR MISSES FROG SPLASH!! Swerve stomps the arm of Escobar. HOUSE CALL BY SWERVE!! 450 SPLASH BY SWERVE!! 1...2...NO!! Both men fight to the outside again. They battle on the apron. SWERVE FALLS BACK AND HITS HIS HEAD ON THE RING POST!! HE LOOKS KNOCKED OUT! ESCOBAR USES A DOUBLE UNDERHOOK AND DRIVES SWERVE FACE FIRST INTO ESCOBAR'S KNEE!! THAT'S IT!! These guys tried to steal the show and almost did it. For the first time having a cruiserweight match on a Takeover, these guys delivered. The only odd thing about this match is the finish. I didn't care for it but it doesn't take away from an overall great match.
W: Santos Escobar via pin @ 15:20 (****)
Kyle O'Reilly warms up backstage with the Undisputed Era while Finn Balor prepares for the main event.
NXT Women's Championship Match
Candice LeRae vs. Io Shirai (champ)
They shove each other before running the ropes. Stand off. Shirai gets the upper hand and LeRae rolls outside. Back in, they trade counters. LeRae tries a monkey flip but Shirai lands on her feet. LeRae takes a breather outside. Shirai tries a sunset bomb to the outside but LeRae blocks. Spring board clothesline by LeRae! The fight outside continues. SHIRAI HITS A SPRING BOARD MOONSAULT!! Back in the ring, Shirai pins LeRae but only for a one count. Shirai delivers kicks to LeRae in the corner. Double knees to LeRae by Shirai. Near fall for Shirai. LeRae sends Shirai into the corner. BACK STABBER BY LERAE!! 1...2...NO!! LeRae works a chin lock. Shirai battles to her feet. A rana by LeRae but Shirai lands on her feet but then LeRae hits a big clothesline. LeRae rakes Shirai across the middle rope. A snap mare by LeRae and a near fall. LeRae goes to an arm submission. Another near fall for LeRae. LeRae gets another near fall again after a back breaker. LeRae hits a running back elbow in the corner. LeRae talks trash while beating on Shirai. LeRae stomps Shirai in the corner. More trash talk. All LeRae at the moment. LeRae gets multiple near falls and appears to be getting frustrated. LeRae charges Shirai in the corner but misses. Shirai hits a double stomp! Both ladies are down. Shoulder tackles by Shirai followed by a flap jack! 619 BY SHIRAI!! SPRING BOARD MISSILE DROP KICK BY SHIRAI!! 1...2...NO!! Shirai tries a rolling pin but LeRae plants her face first! Senton by LeRae!! Shirai turns the tide and hits a back breaker! SHIRAI GOES TO THE TOP BUT LERAE CUTS HER OFF AND POWER BOMBS HER!! SHIRAI IS UP AND HITS DOUBLE KNEES IN THE CORNER!! LeRae with a roll through near fall. GERMAN BY SHIRAI!! LERAE WITH A GERMAN OF HER OWN!! LERAE HITS A BACK STABBER!! LERAE HITS A MOONSAULT FROM THE SECOND ROPE!! 1...2...NO!! LeRae talks trash while delivery a slap! SHIRAI LOCKS IN A CROSS FACE!! LeRae counters into a near fall before locking in a crossface of her own!! Shirai makes it to the rope. LERAE INADVERTANTLY HITS THE REF! SHIRAI TAKES DOWN LERAE!! SHIRAI GOES FOR A MOONSAULT BUT LERAE GETS THE KNEES UP!! LERAE HITS THE WICKED STEP SISTER!! THERE'S NO REF!! HERE COMES JOHNNY GARGANO WITH A REF SHIRT!! HE TRIES TO FAST COUNT BUT SHIRAI STILL KICKS OUT!! Gargano goes out and grabs the title. The actual ref sees Gargano with the title. Johnny has the ref distracted and LERAE HITS SHIRAI WITH THE TITLE!! 1...2...NO!! LERAE GOES TO THE TOP BUT SHIRAI CUTS HER OFF. SHIRAI HITS A SPANISH FLY!! MOONSAULT BY SHIRAI AND IT'S OVER!! These ladies killed it. Io is amazing and Candice was more than up for the challenge. I'm not sure if it's as good as their match in Toronto. I'd have to watch it again to compare but this was great!
W: Io Shirai via pin @ 16:44 (****)
TONI STORM IS ON THE TRON TO CONGRATULATE IO SHIRAI!! Toni is back and she says it's "Toni Time. Cya around!!"
Another night vision vignette. The person riding the motorcycle arrives to the building. They are making their way to the ring to confront Io Shirai. IT'S EMBER MOON!! She stares down Io!
McKenzie Mitchell interviews Ashante. She asks why he got involved in the cruiserweight title match. He was sticking up for Swerve. He says he has swagger and calls it "richual". Spelled that way per him. It's showtime!
NXT Championship Match
Kyle O'Reilly vs. Finn Balor (champ)
Feeling out process in the early going. They go to the mat before a stand off. Balor takes control with a head lock. Shoulder tackle by Balor and he quickly takes O'Reilly down again. O'Reilly gets to his feet and delivers a belly to back suplex but Balor hangs on to the head lock. O'Reilly turns it into a cross arm breaker but Balor gets to the ropes. O'Reilly works on Balor's arm. Balor tries to roll through but O'Reilly side steps to remain in control. O'Reilly continues the arm/shoulder work and also delivers knees to the ribs of Balor. O'Reilly goes back to the arm work. Balor uses knees to the face to try to break free. Balor back drops O'Reilly and follows up with a basement drop kick. Balor gets a near fall after a kick to the back. Balor works O'Reilly's arm now as he mocks O'Reilly with the air guitar taunt. Balor takes O'Reilly down with a hammer lock. Balor forces O'Reilly into the corner. Big chop by Balor before going back to the arm. Balor takes O'Reilly to another corner and continues the offense. Balor takes O'Reilly from corner to corner and delivers chops along the way. O'Reilly catches Balor with a knee to the gut to stop his momentum. Kicks and knees strikes by O'Reilly takes down Balor. O'REILLY HITS TWO DOUBLE UNDERHOOK SUPLEXES AND A DDT!! 1...2...NO!! Balor blocks a suplex and delivers strikes but O'Reilly cuts him off. Both men trade strikes in the middle of the ring. Balor lands a kick that knocks the air out of O'Reilly. The ref steps in to check on O'Reilly. Balor delivers a bunch of stomps! Balor beats on O'Reilly in the corner. Balor sends O'Reilly to the opposite corner sternum first Bret Hart style! Balor focuses on the midsection of O'Reilly. Balor locks in a version of the Camel Clutch. Near fall for Balor. Balor locks in an abdominal stretch but O'Reilly uses a hip toss to break it. O'Reilly builds momentum now. O'REILLY HITS A SICK LOOKING SUPLEX WITH A BRIDGE!! 1...2...NO!! O'Reilly goes after the arm but Balor counters and hits a reverse DDT dropping his elbow across O'Reilly's face. SLING BLADE BY BALOR!! Balor sets up for the John Woo drop kick but O'Reilly drop kicks Balor's knees! O'Reilly grabs a knee of Balor but Balor counters it into an abdominal stretch. O'Reilly escapes and goes after the knee again. Balor counters and BALOR LOCKS O'REILLY IN THE SHARPSHOOTER!! O'REILLY IS BLEEDING FROM THE MOUTH. O'Reilly makes it to the ropes. Balor stomps and kicks O'Reilly near the ropes. More stomps by Balor in the corner now. O'Reilly catches Balor's leg! Both men trade kicks. PELE KICK BY BALOR!! REBOUND CLOTHESLINE BY O'REILLY!! Both men are down. Balor blocks a kick and goes for 1916 but O'Reilly counters into a guillotine. O'Reilly delivers a knee to the face followed by a brain buster! Near fall for O'Reilly. O'Reilly tries to lock in an arm bar but Balor rolls through and stomps O'Reilly. Balor delivers forearms to O'Reilly's back. BALOR HITS A REVERSE 1916!! 1...2...NO!! Balor goes to the top turnbuckle. O'Reilly cuts him off with a kick. O'Reilly dragon screws Balor's leg across the top rope and once again across the middle rope. O'Reilly goes to the top and delivers a knee to the chest of Balor!! O'Reilly goes to the top. O'REILLY DROPS A KNEE ACROSS BALOR'S LEG!! O'REILLY LOCKS IN A KNEE BAR!! O'REILLY TRANSITIONS TO A HEEL HOOK!! O'REILLY HAS BOTH LEGS!! BALOR IS FIGHTING!! BALOR GETS TO THE ROPE!! "NXT" chants from the crowd! O'Reilly goes for a stomp but Balor falls to the mat first. O'Reilly hesitates and Balor leg sweeps and double stomps him! O'REILLY HITS A GERMAN BUT BALOR ROLLS THROUGH FOR A DOUBLE STOMP!! BALOR GOES TO THE TOP. BALOR HITS COUPE DE GRACE FOR THE WIN!! BALOR RETAINS!! This was awesome! I had high expectations and these guys delivered plus some. These guys beat the hell out of each other and all of the counters were awesome. Easily the best match of the COVID era. This is must see stuff.
W: Finn Balor via pin @ 28:31 (****1/2)
Afterward, Balor helps O'Reilly to his feet and they shake hands. Both men look over to the barricade and RIDGE HOLLAND HAS ADAM COLE ON HIS SHOULDER!! HOLLAND DUMPS COLE OVER THE BARRICADE!! The rest of the Undisputed Era runs to ringside to check on Cole. They ask Balor what happened but he doesn't know. End show.
Overall Rating: 8.5/10
This was the exact Takeover I was hoping for. I felt like the last two were lacking something. This was a great event. The worst match wasn't even bad. The ladies were fantastic and the main event was phenomenal! Go out of your way to see the main event! It was a great surprise to see Toni Storm and Ember Moon!! That adds to an already great women's division. Priest cemented himself with a quality win. The cruiserweights went all out and put on a hell of a match! Props to both although the finish was odd. I can't say I loved Kushida vs. Dream but it was still good. Just not great compared to everything else.
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